Ada — The Ada High football team is in the same spot it was a year ago. The Cougars are hosting a playoff game for the second straight year. Woodward is the first-round opponent.
However, this isn’t exactly déjà vu.
The Boomers are a much-improved team from a year ago. Older. Stronger. Nearly everybody back. And they have added Johnny Football Jr. at quarterback.
All that sets the stage for an epic showdown between the eighth-ranked Boomers (7-3) and the ninth-ranked Cougars (7-3) in a Class 4A first-round matchup Friday night at Norris Field.
“We’re excited that we’re hosting a playoff game. This is two years in a row that we’ve had a home playoff game. It’s a lot nicer than having to get on the bus and travel somewhere,” said Ada head coach Matt Weber.
Woodward is enjoying its first winning season since 2001. And the Boomers have earned it. They finished third in District 4A-1 behind No. 1 Anadarko and No. 7 Clinton but had opportunities to defeat them both in regular season matchups. Woodward dropped an 18-15 decision to Anadarko and lost to Clinton 19-14 last week. The Boomers only other loss — a 35-34 setback to Garden City, Kansas — could have also easily been a victory.
“Probably most people would tell you this is Woodward's best team since 1996 when they lost to McAlester in double overtime in the state semifinals,” said Woodward News editor Johnny McMahon.
After watching plenty of film on the Boomers, Weber is certainly a believer.
“They’re as good as any team out in that district (4A-1). They lost close games to Clinton and Anadarko. They had chances to win both of those ballgames and be district champs,” Weber said. “They’re as good a team as we’ve played all year.”